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August 29, 2011

It’s not easy to transform a 15-foot-wide building site—wedged between houses in every direction—into a home that feels more spacious than its location allows. Mamm-design’s solution was to dedicate two-thirds of this tiny 653-square-foot house in Tokyo to a 20-foot-high garden room to bring a sense of the outdoors in. A centrally positioned evergreen ash anchors the airy terrace, which is paved with complementary gray bricks. The kitchen, bedroom, bathroom, and workspace are all connected to the central space, transforming the covered veranda into a surrealistic theatrical setting for day-to-day life.

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    Courtesy of (c) DAICI ANO / FWD.
    Courtesy of (c) DAICI ANO / FWD.
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  To achieve a level of comfort on a plot wedged between virtually identical prefab houses, the architects brought in a sense of the outdoors with this courtyard that's finished with a grey brick floor and a live Evergreen Ash tree.  Courtesy of (c) DAICI ANO / FWD.
    To achieve a level of comfort on a plot wedged between virtually identical prefab houses, the architects brought in a sense of the outdoors with this courtyard that's finished with a grey brick floor and a live Evergreen Ash tree. Courtesy of (c) DAICI ANO / FWD.
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  "We tried to achieve a space in which inside and outside co-exist together," architect Akira Mada says. "As we walk around the house, at times we feel the space is totally outside while at other moments it is an interior. It’s this co-existence that gives the residence its unique atmosphere."  Courtesy of (c) DAICI ANO / FWD.
    "We tried to achieve a space in which inside and outside co-exist together," architect Akira Mada says. "As we walk around the house, at times we feel the space is totally outside while at other moments it is an interior. It’s this co-existence that gives the residence its unique atmosphere." Courtesy of (c) DAICI ANO / FWD.
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  The central terrace works as a buffer between the study, atelier and bedroom and bathroom located on both sides of the central space. The project's name, Minna no Ie (Everyone’s House), suggests that the house has no strict borders. The Evergreen Ash is from Fukuoka, the stool is Alvar Aalto’s Stool 60 for Artek; the cloth is an African design.  Courtesy of (c) DAICI ANO / FWD.
    The central terrace works as a buffer between the study, atelier and bedroom and bathroom located on both sides of the central space. The project's name, Minna no Ie (Everyone’s House), suggests that the house has no strict borders. The Evergreen Ash is from Fukuoka, the stool is Alvar Aalto’s Stool 60 for Artek; the cloth is an African design. Courtesy of (c) DAICI ANO / FWD.
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  The bathroom, finished with a mortar that contains pigments and fine-grained sand, is half sunken in the ground to provide a worm's eye view towards the terrace.  Courtesy of (c) DAICI ANO / FWD.
    The bathroom, finished with a mortar that contains pigments and fine-grained sand, is half sunken in the ground to provide a worm's eye view towards the terrace. Courtesy of (c) DAICI ANO / FWD.
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  The interior is illuminated by skylights that allow natural light to flood almost every space inside.  Courtesy of (c) DAICI ANO / FWD.
    The interior is illuminated by skylights that allow natural light to flood almost every space inside. Courtesy of (c) DAICI ANO / FWD.
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  The plan and section of the house.
    The plan and section of the house.
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minna no ie exterior

Pairing living flora amidst stark concrete and devoting most of the essential 653-square-foot interior to a garden space, architect Akira Mada's Minna no le (meaning Everyone's House) is a functioning contradiction.

Image courtesy of (c) DAICI ANO / FWD.

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